Investor interest shifts to small-, medium-caps

Shares closed marginally higher yesterday on improved volume, with small- and medium-caps benefiting from improved sentiment after UK market leader Dixons agreed to buy a stake in electrical retailer Kotsovolos. «Today’s session showed little fluctuation, with Alpha Bank’s technical rebound leading the index to positive ground,» said one trader. «What makes an impression is the gradual improvement in small- and mid-cap stocks, with the buyout of Kotsovolos offering a boost.» The general share index closed 0.23 percent higher at 2,331.36 points. Blue chips rose 0.19 percent, mid-caps closed 0.94 percent higher while small-caps advanced 0.96 percent. Phone and accessories retailer Germanos fell 2.95 percent to 23.02 euros. OTE was another blue chip decliner, retreating 0.58 percent to 10.36 euros. An inside source said the company has reopened talks with Belgrade authorities on the future of its 20 percent stake in Serbian state telecoms monopoly Telekom Srbija. Alpha Bank led the banking sector, closing 3.08 percent higher at 20.72 euros. Turnover rose to 167.58 million euros, with 21.6 million shares changing hands. Winners outnumbered losers 216 to 76, with 64 shares unchanged. (Reuters)